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DARK WINGS

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Dark Wings: an Adult Fairytale 

From the author of Force of Nature comes a refashioning of The Pilgrim’s Progress for the microchip generation. Fables and fairytales with a meaningful twist intermixed with mystical poetry.   

In the classic tradition of Grimms’ fairy tales comes a book full of esoteric tales designed to comfort the world-weary traveller, living in a world seemingly gone mad with technology and having lost its way. This book contains the lifeblood of the human spirit in all its mystical glory. Each short story is separate but connected by a golden thread of truth. There are signposts of reflective insights on a pathway along this maze we call life. 

I offer no answers, only helpful hints and a few rays of light along a dark path.

In Store Price: $28.95 
Online Price:   $27.95

ISBN: 978-1-921731-08-2  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages:297
Genre: Fiction/Adult Fairy Tales

 


 

Author: Colin Chalk
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2010
Language: English

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About the Author

 

Colin Chalk is a poet and illustrator whose work has been published throughout Australia. 

Originally from the UK, he immigrated to Australia with his wife and small daughter in 1988 and it was there, through meditation and mysticism, that he found the influences that fuelled his exceptional debut volume, Lovelight. 

His second book, Force of Nature, was published by Zeus Publications in 2009. Dark Wings is his third book.

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The Adventures

of

Jack Dawn

  Part One

Dark Wings 

 

 

“I have felt the wind of the wing of madness pass over me.

 Charles Baudelaire  

 

Lizzie

 

 

W

rite like you’ve only got twenty four hours to live because you just might have. With this sobering thought, he picked up his pen and wrote as though his very life depended on it.

 

Her filthy fractured talons clawed deep welts into his back. Demonic screams tore apart the pain threshold and reverberated around the room rattling the window. Three burly men fought to contain the wildcat, but were losing the battle.

Testicles were kicked with deadly accuracy whilst hands like demented tarantulas sought an eye to gouge. She spat venom and punched like a Russian sailor on steroids. The man on her legs had worked one too many sixteen-hour shifts in this living hell and now, when she yelled too close to his left ear, momentarily he lost it and yelled back with equal ferocity, “Stop it!”

His right hand formed a fist and for a moment, it looked as if he was going to hit her. The two on her arms looked at each other and wished they were anywhere but here. Somehow, they managed to tear off the shredded jumpsuit and replace it with a new one.

Just another day at the office, he mused as he surveyed the livid claw marks in the bathroom mirror. They were sore to the touch but luckily, his thick grey shirt had prevented them from breaking the skin this time.

Anyone who doubted demonic possession, need only spend ten seconds in her company, he thought as he looked at her.

“Keep ya nose outa da dark or ya might bump inta sum fink nasty,” it hissed.

Whatever it was, he sensed it liked him, but he could not afford to get too close to it. It would rip his head off given half a chance; he knew he could not afford to let his guard down even for an instant.

He checked over the restraints while its beady eyes followed the deft movements of his fingers. From its drooling mouth a deep gurgling laugh emanated and made his skin crawl. Having satisfied himself, he breathed easily at last. His racing blood pressure could only take so much and despite his medication, he knew his days of working here were numbered. Working in this living hell had taken its toll.

 

Blind Freddie was basking in the sun. His red underpants were over his trousers as usual but he was happy in Blind Freddie world.

Jack searched his white coat pocket for his notebook of inspirational thoughts, opening it at random, his finger found a page.

 

The Man in the Mirror

 

When you get what you want in your struggle for self

And the world makes you king for a day.

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself

And see what the man has to say.

For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife

Whose judgement upon him must pass.

The fellow whose verdict counts most in his life

Is the man staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please never mind all the rest

For he’s with you clear up to the end.

And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test

If the man in the glass is your friend.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the Man in the glass.

 

Poem discovered in a prisoner’s cell after his execution.

 

He returned to the bathroom and stared at the glass. Calling his name softly to himself as he gazed into his own eyes, he tried to find a point of reality where he might cling like a raft in this sea of insanity. At first, he did not recognise the face in the mirror.

Slowly it became familiar to him, the beard now white, the lines around the eyes, deeper; it was a good face he judged. Every one of those white hairs had been earned through life experience; he wore them proudly like medals of valour. He tried to force a smile but it was hard after the day he had battled through.

Some men tried desperately to cling to their youth in their pathetic vanity. He would never want to change where he was now for some pasty, spotty adolescence. Some men walked around with bottle-coloured thinning hair or worse still plastic wigs. He felt sorry for those poor deluded fools – so self obsessed and egotistical. They looked like badly painted marionettes only lacking strings, but no, they had those all right, they were invisible.

He closed the door on a room full of freaks and found his way home on autopilot. It was dark when he pulled into his drive.

 

“You must close your eyes, otherwise you won’t see anything,” she said.

She flowed into the room wearing an antique coral pink kimono of exquisite design. Scroll patterns of leaves, feathers and flowers embossed with gold thread shimmered in the firelight. A plunging neckline revealed she was naked underneath.

“Can I open them now?” he asked. Without waiting for an answer, he sneaked a peek

She was an eclectic cappuccino – half Maori, half Indian. A dusky beauty with eyes a man could drown in and die happily. She had the classic look of a pirate queen, perfect white teeth, raven black hair, long and straight with a figure as graceful as a swan. Together on a tiger skin, they explored the delights of the perfumed garden.

Yin and yang fought playfully for supremacy, but came to the usual understanding that balance is the best outcome in a love match, and both were exhausted. Her name was Neri and she was a cherry.

She surveyed the florid scratch marks on his back. “Is that sore?” she asked.

“Only when I laugh,” he shot back. His scars were many but most of them he wore on the inside.

“Tell me again, what is it you do?” she asked for the umpteenth time.

“I stuff teddy bears in a toy factory,” he laughed with a wink.

“Oh! Jack!” she said, “can you never be serious?”

“I don’t know … I never tried.” He studied her fine lines and perfect curves, and again he wanted to get lost in her universe. She had the look in her eye of one who is gazing at some invisible object that was far out at sea. He followed her gaze for a moment but returned to ship almost at once.

“Penny for your thoughts,” he spoke at last.

“That’s not even legal tender now,” she replied. Lost in a sea of thoughts she tried to grab one which mattered and suddenly spluttered out, “I love you.”

“That’s nice,” he replied.

“You perfect pig!” she shouted.

What have I done now? he wondered. The sad fact was, he really didn’t know. He saw her rising ire and finally said sheepishly, “I think you’re the best.”

“Too little to late,” she snarled.

The candle light flickered on her flawless face and he noticed a tear had rolled down her cheek. It fell onto the tigers head and from there made its way onto a glass eye, which twinkled in the firelight glow. For a second he thought he saw a similarity between the eye of the tiger and Neri’s now damp lamps.

“Play me a tune,” he asked, hoping she might pick out a tune with her guitar.

“I’ll play you a tune with this, you insensitive prick!” she yelled, holding up a clenched fist.

“What have I done now?” he repeated, with a dumb expression on his handsome face.

“Never mind! Never mind!” she snapped.

Dumb as he was he could see that the star ship Neri had left the galaxy and would be unavailable until further notice. He poured himself a stiff drink and fell asleep in the chair. It had suddenly grown very cold.

Jack did not know where he was going but he knew he would always find his way there. Like most men, he had waited nine months to be born and had spent the rest of his life trying to get back there. He left for work without waking her and all hell broke loose the moment he opened the door.

“She’s gone!” someone yelled.

“Who’s gone?” Jack asked.

“Lizzie Borden’s gone and guess what, she took the fire axe!” came the frantic reply.

Oh Christ! he thought to himself, I wonder if it’s too late to ring in sick.

She had given him something to remember her by at their last encounter and he still bore the scars on his back. Now, armed with an axe she might do anything or anyone!

“She must have scaled the wall, she can’t have gone far,” said a voice.

A party of twelve formed and armed only with personal electronic alarms, they fanned out into the woods. Jack shook his head as shouts of “Lizzie…” rent the air from all directions. He knew that shouting her name was stupid. They may as well be shouting run away, he thought. Suddenly he heard a scream off to his right, closely followed by another.

The bloody mess that greeted him was the stuff of nightmares. Two heads separated from bodies stared blankly at him. He recognised the faces but which head belonged to which body was anyone’s guess.

Lizzie watched from the bushes as they gathered to investigate.

The blood-strewn trees waved and rustled in the breeze and a raven watched from a high branch. They heard a snap from a broken twig and raced all together in the direction of the sound. For some reason he was in no hurry to find a demonic, axe-wielding killer, so Jack hung back from the pack.

Over the next few minutes, he heard a series of screams and dull thuds, like the sounds of trees being cut down. Finally, he heard the sound he most feared, the sound of silence. His skin began to crawl again, as the familiar sound of insane laughter echoed through the woods. It was definitely too late to ring in sick.

Suddenly the banshee wail of a personal alarm went off closely followed by another and another. At last, all eleven sirens were sounding off at once with a crazy pulsating beat. The hellish sound sliced through the air in relentless screams of death. He tried to focus through the racket but his head was thumping like a drum.

“EEEE! EEEE! EEEE! EEEE!”

He covered his ears in a vain attempt to muffle the sound. She shook him awake.

“Can’t you hear the alarm going off? It’s time for work!” she said.

He shook his head and broke out of the dream.

“Oh! What a rotten nightmare!” he said, as he pulled on his clothes.

 

He left for work on autopilot having left her wide-awake. All hell broke loose the moment he opened the door. “She’s gone!” someone yelled, “and she’s taken the fire axe!”

 

***

 

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”

 Ode to a nineteenth Century axe murderer

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